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Comic Collection Monday #44: Adventures of Superman #501

In today's Comic Collection Monday, I’ll take a look at “Adventures of Superman” #501, with a publication date of June 1993.

In Comic Collection Monday, I post the cover of a comic book from my collection, along with a brief note about the issue – what I thought about it, where I got it, whatever comes to mind.  Spoilers are ahead if you haven’t read the issue in question.

The issue: The four Superman titles returned following the death and funeral storyline of Superman with four die-cut covers announcing four new Supermen, one for each title.  (The titles were also released in non-die-cut editions for those who preferred a cheaper option, or maybe just in a motivation to get fans to buy two.)

Karl Kesel is the writer for the issue, which is pencilled by Tom Grummett and inked by Doug Hazlewood. 

In “Adventures of Superman,” we have the young Superman, with trendy haircut and leather jacket, stopping thugs stealing a taxi and confronting Lois Lane at the Daily Planet with his claim to be the Man of Steel. 

The flirty Superboy gives up on Lois, following the younger reporter, Tana Moon, who works at WGBS.  In an exclusive interview, he announces that he’s a clone of Superman.

The young hero – who at this point staunchly insists “Don’t call me Superboy!” – learns from WGBS that the villain Steel Hand is laying siege to Suicide Slum.   He takes on Intergang and the Steel Hand, saving the day and convincing at least some that his story might be true. 

Lois calls Clark Kent’s parents to discuss the situation; Martha thinks her son would never be so reckless and cocky, but Lois points out this young man wasn’t raised by the Kents.   

After the fight, the hero Guardian has a conversation with the young Superman, who points out he did help the hero furtively during his clash with Intergang. 

In the close to the issue, Lex Luthor demands to know the story behind this Superman clone, saying he thought cloning Superman was impossible. “Well… yes and no” is the answer from the project scientist. 

How it got in my collection:  I was waiting at the shop when the boxes came out for this one. I was temporarily transitioning out of comics retail at this point, though that would change in the summer at a different comic shop. But still, there were several people waiting for the release of these comics, that would continue the Superman storyline that had captivated comic fans. While the sales of “Adventures of Superman” #500 didn’t reach the heights of the death issue in “Superman” #75, it was still a huge number historically for the Superman titles. The “Reign of the Supermen” story that began in “Adventures of Superman” #501 and the other titles was hotly anticipated, with issue #501 being one of the year’s top-sellers.

Going on in the world: According to Mike’s Amazing World, this June-dated comic book would have gone on sale on April 27, 1993.  The top show of the TV season was “60 Minutes.”  The top film at the box office was “Indecent Proposal.”  The top song on the Billboard hot 100 was “Informer” by Snow.

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Matthew Price

Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s... Read more ›